It all began at Christmas when I saw you in the street,
your face was full of whiskers, and your red-veined ruddy cheeks
were glowing in the lamplight, and when snowflakes hit your nose,
there was promise of a whiteout, and you’d nowhere else to go.
The belt around your trousers was a piece of plaited string,
and the jacket you were wearing had worn to paper thin,
your grimy fingers fumbled with the buttons at your neck,
it made you wheeze like smokers do, harsh, giving the effect
of a pair of struggling bellows hard cranking up some puff,
meanwhile your eyes glazed over, and the shirt was not enough,
it would not stop the cold from striking through; it would not stop
pneumonia or flu. And you and I, both knew you could
not stop the snow from coming down. I looked at you and smiled,
but you were not the Christmas I remembered as a child.
The snowflakes kept on coming, and they whitened your red hat,
they landed like a blanket, an Icelandic habitat,
I saw your breath mix with the air, thick fog about to freeze,
the thought occurred you'd die right there, and not make Christmas Eve.
And so I sat beside you, and the snow began to melt,
I wrapped my coat around you, and I shared the way you felt,
I gave you cake, and brandy, and I got you to your feet,
you told me you were homeless, and rough-sleeping on the street,
you hugged me, and I held you close, a mother and newborn,
together, Christmas loving saw you safely through the storm.
On Tuesday I went to my first Christmas party, it was the Music and Memories Group at the library in Barnsley, and I played the piano (keyboard) for a bit of carol singing. That went well, there was a lovely buffet, dancing, and I even got to meet the Mayor who was wearing the snazziest boots I've ever seen. Well, it was a lovely start to part-time.
The next party is on Sunday, when it will be our son's birthday - more cake! And after that it will be cake all the way to Christmas, cake and bubbly that is, I will definitely be rocking around the Christmas tree.
I hope you will all be doing the same, have a very happy Christmas and an even happier New Year.
Love and hugs,